Linked by chandler on Sun 16th May 2010 19:28 UTC
Google Google is set to announce Android 2.2 at the Google I/O event this week and one of the highly anticipated features will provide a big boost for performance and battery life. Originally the Dalvik virtual machine was implemented as an interpreter, but now a JIT compiler will be used. Already benchmarks show a roughly 6x improvement in numeric performance with the new JIT. While this will make Snapdragon-powered phones like the Nexus One seem even more responsive it will have the biggest impact on lower end phones using ARM11-based chipsets. It remains to be seen how many existing models will receive upgrades to 2.2.
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Desire!
by stestagg on Sun 16th May 2010 20:27 UTC
stestagg
Member since:
2006-06-03

Am sincerely hoping this reaches my new Desire, definitely more exiting than iPhone OS 4

Reply Score: 7

RE: Desire!
by kaiwai on Mon 17th May 2010 01:59 UTC in reply to "Desire!"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Am sincerely hoping this reaches my new Desire, definitely more exiting than iPhone OS 4


Well, once a platform becomes more mature there is less and less to get excited about because all the major bases have been pretty much covered. I wonder how much of the iPhone 4 enhancements will roll back into Mac OS X for the desktop. I know with Snow leopard the battery life really jumped, is it possible that maybe the combination of a move to LLVM and enhancements from iPhone 4 will make its way into 10.7 ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Desire!
by Laurence on Mon 17th May 2010 09:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Desire!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Well, once a platform becomes more mature there is less and less to get excited about because all the major bases have been pretty much covered.


I think that's a little unfair because from day one, the iPhone has been playing catch up to Android on a number of fronts:
* copy/paste
* MMS
* sat nav
* multi-tasking
* emulation
* 3rd party browsers (eg Opera)
* platform syncing (USB2 auto mounting > iTunes syncing)
* hardware digital compass (the G1 beat the iPhone to this by over year)

Sure, the iPhone did do many things better too - and continues to do so. But the fact remains that the iPhone has been one of the least feature-rich of all the "mature" smart phone platforms.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Desire!
by Timmmm on Mon 17th May 2010 11:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Desire!"
Timmmm Member since:
2006-07-25

Yeah and Android is playing catch-up to the iPhone in a number of equally important areas:

* OS performance
* Developer tools and documentation (especially wrt native code)
* App quality and selection
* Availability of OS updates
* Hardware quality (ok, not strictly part of android, and the nexus one is pretty damn good, but I'm yet to see any phone that has a touch screen as good as a first gen iPhone).

Nothing starts off complete.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Desire!
by Laurence on Mon 17th May 2010 12:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Desire!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Yeah and Android is playing catch-up to the iPhone in a number of equally important areas:

* OS performance
* Developer tools and documentation (especially wrt native code)
* App quality and selection
* Availability of OS updates
* Hardware quality (ok, not strictly part of android, and the nexus one is pretty damn good, but I'm yet to see any phone that has a touch screen as good as a first gen iPhone).

Nothing starts off complete.


Which is what I've just said. You're just reitterating my point.

* App quality and selection
* Hardware quality (ok, not strictly part of android, and the nexus one is pretty damn good, but I'm yet to see any phone that has a touch screen as good as a first gen iPhone).

This part is FUD.
* Android has just as much quality and variety of applications as the iPhone. In fact, I'd argue there's more variety on Android due to Apple's strict control over iPhone apps - but the fact is the average user is served equally well on either platform (as I don't want to start a stupid platform war)

* Apple's hardware is actually behind most other smart phones - not just in terms of raw power but sometimes in terms of features (digital compass, hardware keyboard, etc). And you comment about touch screen, but the iPhone wasn't the 1st multi-touch smart phone and the screen on the iPhone is the same as the one on the G1. So maybe when you talk about hardware, you mean software gestures? (as Google disabled multi-touch in the software -presumably for fear of patent abuse from Apple- even though the G1's hardware supported it)

Edited 2010-05-17 12:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Desire!
by nt_jerkface on Mon 17th May 2010 21:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Desire!"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


This part is FUD.
* Android has just as much quality and variety of applications as the iPhone. In fact, I'd argue there's more variety on Android due to Apple's strict control over iPhone apps - but the fact is the average user is served equally well on either platform (as I don't want to start a stupid platform war)


Opinion you disagree with is not FUD but more importantly his opinion is well supported by the fact that the iphone still has much better support from medium and large gaming companies.

Just look at how many iphone games EA has published:
http://www.ea.com/games?platform[]=variationtype.game.iphone

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Desire!
by Laurence on Mon 17th May 2010 21:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Desire!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Opinion you disagree with is not FUD

It's not an opinion if it can proven:


but more importantly his opinion is well supported by the fact that the iphone still has much better support from medium and large gaming companies.


That's nice. Now what about:
* emulation
* turn by turn sat nav
* 3rd party browsers (iPhone has just 1)
* tethering apps
* apps of an adult nature
etc etc

Apple even explicitly state that they will decline apps from their app store if it duplicates functionality.

So no, the iPhone does not have a more varied selection of apps. Just better support for a specific genre of app (ie gaming).

Edited 2010-05-17 21:58 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Desire!
by nt_jerkface on Tue 18th May 2010 02:08 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Desire!"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I could also make a list of iphone apps that the droid doesn't have. That doesn't change the fact that the iphone has more apps and a better game library.

You can still believe that overall the android library is better but that is a subjective opinion.

Reply Score: 2

cool!
by hollovoid on Sun 16th May 2010 20:50 UTC
hollovoid
Member since:
2005-09-21

That along with smoothing out the overall look of transitions will go a long way! Something about a 1ghz phone showing signs of studdering just draws your attention from alot of the good.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by cerbie
by cerbie on Sun 16th May 2010 21:32 UTC
cerbie
Member since:
2006-01-02

Future phones and apps are where it'll really be important. So far, Dalvik has been an interesting way to handle Java, and some types of apps are going to be about as good interpreted as compiled; but, interpreted code in general suffers from every unique instruction that has to be run. When different unique code gets run, or code that's just doing some API calls, JIT compilation and caching overhead can actually make it slower, if the interpreter was fairly efficient to begin with. Apps developed after this becomes standard will get to tweak their code from the start for the JIT-enabled engine, and really take advantage of it. OTOH, apps that do computation, branchy messes, and/or lots of IO in Android-Java, aught to immediately benefit.

Given the time and effort put into performance issues with the first two major iterations of Dalvik, I doubt there will be any drawbacks (if anything, peak performance would probably be limited, in favor of not screwing some cases up).

The way Apple's been acting lately, and with the general strangeness surrounding Intel/Nokia, this will be a feather in the cap for Android.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by cerbie
by ale6 on Sun 16th May 2010 23:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by cerbie"
ale6 Member since:
2010-05-16

I agree for I/O.

I've developed a Stardict parser for Android, and I need to parse 1.2MB of data for each request (I think that kind of data may be not so rare).

Sun's JVM took 1s on a regular dual-core laptop, when -- iirc -- pure Dalvik code took up to 15 minutes (maybe I miswrote something, but I tried everything -- it was a year ago).

Using JNI, everything went back down to a couple of seconds on a ADP1.

btw, for the record, there will be a Google I/O talk about optimizing apps for taking advantage of the new JIT.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by cerbie
by ndrw on Mon 17th May 2010 03:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by cerbie"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

It is true that JIT may slow down a branchy code, but that's not where the performance bottleneck usually lays in. Whenever the application runs slowly it is almost always due to some heavy data shifting going on. In other words, applications that currently consume 5% of CPU time will perhaps start consuming 10%, and these wanting 500% may find 100% enough.

Another thing to look at is the garbage collector - I'm not sure how Dalvik's one performs here but allocation tends to be a major factor in OO languages execution speed.

Reply Score: 1

Updates for Android Phones are rare
by jokkel on Mon 17th May 2010 09:45 UTC
jokkel
Member since:
2008-07-07

It's very sad that the Android platform is so fragmented. Even today there are new phones being sold with Android 1.5 or 1.6. Most handset makers also don't bother to release updates for older phones.
This is not only bad for users , but also a growing hassle for developers.

Reply Score: 2

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Yes, the makers are probably doing that because they want a slice of the cake now. And because there are some users ready to buy phones with Android 1.5
I hope that once they get a backlash, they'll start putting their game together. The Android market is fresh, and the smartphone market may be boiling like hot water now, but there will come a time soon when the number of items sold per period starts to drop.

We need a change in how manufacturers support older releases (for instance, none of the Acer Aspire 1350 drivers -touchpad, GC, wireless card, etc.- has been updated on Acer's website since 2004; most are still the same version that shipped with the product in September 2003!).

Maybe that if new programs require quite recent features that became available with Android 2.0 for instance (was there a 2.0 ?), it would force the makers to do something more "support-oriented" and less "new-sales-only-oriented"?

By the way, is it possible to update those Android 1.5 phones to the current versions (2.1, 2.2) ?

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, uhm, there are already apps that require 2.0 (yes there was a 2.0 its what the moto droid shipped with).

2.2 is not officially released yet.

The upgrade depends on the phone. Some manufacturers have provided a simple update. Others have third party roms that provide the upgrade. And still others do not have an upgrade.

Reply Score: 2

Giorgio Member since:
2010-05-17

Yep, I agree, apps on the market have to target 1.6 if they want to be available to more than 50% of the phones...

Reply Score: 1

polaris20 Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree. It's really hard to get excited about an Android OS announcement when I know I won't get it for 6-8 months after it's released by Google. The Droid is a neat phone, but it's just not quite there yet compared to the iPhone OS.

Reply Score: 3

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Ugh, tell me about it. I can't believe that Google has brought the world of Linux fragmentation to mobile devices.

http://techcrunch.com/2009/04/23/tighten-up-those-apps-or-android-1...

Reply Score: 2

MyriadGroup DalvikTurbo
by shawn.butler on Mon 17th May 2010 13:38 UTC
shawn.butler
Member since:
2010-04-28

So is this DalvikTurbo from Myriad or Google just screwing another OHA member out of revenue?

Reply Score: 1

What about GPS
by vodoomoth on Mon 17th May 2010 14:30 UTC
vodoomoth
Member since:
2010-03-30

// begin off topic
There's something that nobody seems to find interesting enough to talk about it: absolutely free GPS navigation. I have it on my current phone, a Nokia 6110 Navigator, which does not need a phone signal to function. In fact, you may even take the SIM card out of the phone and it'd still be usable as a standalone GPS navigator for pedestrians and vehicles.

All I've read so far in the specs of recent phones is "A-GPS", which means the GPS chips locks into position faster thanks to pre-computed something (maps, positions, I don't know). BUT, does it mean that the GPS (since it looks like all phones now have a GPS chip) is freely usable ? I wonder why there's no war going on about that specific feature; didn't Nokia vow, some months ago, to bring free nav to the masses ? What's missing there, the maps, the apps, something else ?
// end off topic

Reply Score: 1

RE: What about GPS
by anevilyak on Mon 17th May 2010 22:14 UTC in reply to "What about GPS"
anevilyak Member since:
2005-09-14


All I've read so far in the specs of recent phones is "A-GPS", which means the GPS chips locks into position faster thanks to pre-computed something (maps, positions, I don't know). BUT, does it mean that the GPS (since it looks like all phones now have a GPS chip) is freely usable ? I wonder why there's no war going on about that specific feature; didn't Nokia vow, some months ago, to bring free nav to the masses ? What's missing there, the maps, the apps, something else ?


The difference between A-GPS vs GPS is basically sacrificing some hardware to save money ; A-GPS relies on using the cell tower as one of the triangulation points in order to avoid having to lock onto as many satellites. The upside is the GPS hardware doesn't have to be as sophisticated, the downside is you can't get an accurate GPS lock without being in cell tower range. It's purely a cost issue, nothing lock-in related whatsoever.

Edit: I should also note, at least in Android the GPS hardware is completely accessible via the SDK, there are plenty of 3rd party apps that use it, if that's what you're referring to. With respect to things like turn-by-turn Nav, the biggest problem is storage space ; good maps for a large area can literally run into the gigabyte range, Google Maps Nav basically just gets the subset it needs for the current area on the fly, whereas a real GPS nav unit has substantial storage dedicated to just that. The mapping data (and associated cost) tends to be the bigger barrier to writing your own GPS Nav app, not the hardware per se.

Edited 2010-05-17 22:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2